Holding Absence are a 5 piece rock band from Cardiff in Wales. The lineup features Lucas Woodland on vocals, Scott Carey and Chris Smitheram on guitar, James Joseph on bass and Ashley Green on drums. ‘Holding Absence’ is the bands debut full-length album and the 5 piece have put all of their heart, body, soul and emotion into the record.
Perish is the first cab off the rank and it starts off eerie as hell, with some interesting sound effects before the guitar kicks in. The eeriness continues for a good minute and a half before the tracks properly starts and it’s kicking you in the gut musically from the word go. There’s a bit of an early Bring Me The Horizon vibe to the track musically and a little bit in Lucas’ vocal style. There is a lot of ebb and flow throughout the track in terms of the dark and the light in the instrumentals which is balanced perfectly with the intensity of the vocal. Overall a great track to kick off a debut LP.
Next up is Your Love and the opening drums are all up in your face and knocking the wind out of you, in the absolute best way possible. Music is something that needs to be felt and you’re definitely going to be feeling something once this track kicks in. ‘Your love has ruined my life’ is a line that is repeated throughout the song and the raw emotion in Lucas’ vocals when he sings the line just tears your heart out. An absolute stand out track on this self-titled record. Like A Shadow is track three and it’s a little bit faster than tracks one and two but the speed of the song doesn’t dull how emotional it is. Lyrically the track tells the story of losing someone and wanting nothing more than to have them back, the lyric ‘Stay a little longer’ particularly resonating and making you feel the emotion, even if you don’t want to.
You Are Everything is track four and while it starts out heavy, there are some slower, softer parts of the song. The slower parts of the track really have the emphasis on the vocals, whereas the heavier parts put the emphasis on the instrumental. The rhythm section really get a chance to show off their skills and stretch their legs in the latter half of this one too.
Marigold and To Fall Asleep are tracks five and six respectively. Marigold opens on a pretty piano piece and is a nice change of pace from the previous tracks. It’s a beautiful, slow and heartfelt track that is highly likely to make you cry, I know it made me cry when I listened. To Fall Asleep starts off with Ashley getting to stretch his legs and showcase his skill behind the kit. The whole track is really driven by the drums and there’s a lot of impressive double kick work throughout. There’s a bit of a Karnivool feel to this one, as well as that BMTH influence that I mentioned earlier.
Track seven is Monochrome, and with a runtime of 3:48 it’s actually one of the shorter tracks on the record. ‘Short and sweet’ is an underrated expression but one that I think is appropriate in this instance. Short, sweet and heavy. The chugging guitar riffs are back to punch you in the gut and remind you that while there was some light in previous tracks, this is most definitely a rock record. There’s a lot of talent in Holding Absence, and this track in particular gives each member a chance to show off their skills.
A Godsend is track eight and I can see this track being where everyone gets their lighters and their phone torches out during concerts and shines their lights bright. It’s another hard-hitting track lyrically and emotionally and Lucas rips open his chest and bares his heart to you vocally, showing off both the raw emotion and the range of his vocals. Track nine is Last Of The Evening Light and it’s the perfect combination of instrumentals and synthetic effects. ‘Misery has a duality’ is a lyric that really resonates and I think a lot of people will relate to it as it’s just something that is true, and the way Lucas delivers it makes it completely believable.
Purge starts the beginning of the end of the record as the second to last track. It’s only just over two minutes long and the first 52 seconds is more gorgeous piano before the vocals and guitar start. It lulls you into a false sense of security that the heaviness of the record is at an end but trust me, you’re wrong.
The final track Wilt is also the longest on the record at 6:48. The first four or so minutes are slow and soft with the piano being intertwined with the instruments before the heavy guitar hits at 5:10. The piano doesn’t go away but its definitely in the backseat while the heavy guitars and drums come to the fore. It’s a great way to end an incredible record that’s going to leave you wanting more as it progresses.
Take your time to enjoy this one as I promise you, you’ll be thoroughly impressed by the records end. You also need to be ready to feel, as you’re going to be made to have so many emotions throughout weather you want to or not.
Pre-Order your copy of ‘Holding Absence’, out March 8th via Sharptone Records HERE!